Danne Attlerud, Kevin Borg, Simon Gribbe, and Thomas Thornholm
Danne Attlerud, Kevin Borg, Simon Gribbe, and Thomas Thornholm

From Zack: ESC United has been fortunate enough to have made connections with many songwriters over the years.  Most of this is thanks to OGAE REST OF THE WORLD president  ROY.  We present a postfrom DANNE ATTLERUD, co-composer of the runner-up in this year’s Maltese National Selection, “Needing You,” by KEVIN BORG.


From a composers view a National Selection in Eurovision is like a long life slimmed into a couple of hours. Ups-and-downs mindwise when you are speculating, trying to find small signs of hope concerning your entry.

Backstage where the artists, the composer,s and everyone around the entries spend their time working, calculating hoping,  the air is tensed an relaxed at the same time. How much you ever try to stay calm, it’s like a storm wave of expectations running through your heart and mind.

For example the semifinal in Malta where I was recently. We had Kevin Borg performing our song “Needing You” at an absolute top level as did most of the others with their songs as well. It turned out to be a long and nervous night. The producers of the show  really wanted to turn it all into a drama for the viewers, but even more for the performers and the composers. You are left to having someone else judge how good(or bad) your work turned out to be in the end. You know that you have done everything in your power to make the entry as good as possible; but still you don’t know a thing when you sit there and watch all the performers and entries and you find smaller or bigger signs in their songs as well. Maybe you start to hum on some of the other songs or hear someone else humming on your song.

Everything is a mix of happiness over being where you are and a nervous wait for the result. Truly nerve-wrecking,  but beautiful at the same time. Being a part of this is an honor because people really engage themselves into the entries and performers.  You feel that these people are the ones you compose for and that’s really something to be proud of.

When being in the finals of Malta’s National Selection and hear your song performed by Kevin Borg at the absolute top level, the audience standing up shouting throughout the whole song, that’s what makes you want to return to Eurovision over and over again. That feeling is what I bring with me back home from the beautiful island of Malta.


From Zack: Thank you Danne and congratulations on your success.  We wish you and your talented team all the best of luck in the future.

We also encourage any songwriters/performers that had their songs taking part in any National Selection, be it this year or the previous years to write to us and share your Eurovision-related experiences!

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  1. Lee

    February 4, 2013 at 21:32

    Kevin would have been a great winner, such a shame

  2. Roy van der Merwe

    February 4, 2013 at 17:28

    I know how difficult it is to be backstage. I experienced it only once – in 2010 in Oslo when I was in the green room durign semi final one and all 4 the countries around me, Malta, Latvia, Slovakia and Finland did not qualify for the FINAL. I never want to experience that again and I was just a by-stander with no interest in any of the songs or artists – it is so sad to see who months of preparation come to an end.

  3. Roy van der Merwe

    February 4, 2013 at 17:25

    danne, thank you so much for sharing this with us. It is such a pity Kevin did not make it. I had thought it was a given. Personally I think Malta did make a mistake in sending another song but now there is not much to do. Just try again next year – hopefully I will see you ate EUROVISION again with a song. Also congratulations to the other writers.

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